South East Asia

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South East Asia

Postby MrCAMEL » Wed 13 May, 2009 9:07 pm

G'Day folk,
I was just wondering if anyone here knew of any good or 'must see' things/walks/ things to visit that would fit the 'bushwalking' topics covered by this forum in the South East Asia area.

I'm booked on my first international trip early next year.
And the prices of the plane rides are great (and most reviews I have read for Airasia are good). $120 return from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur.
And then on from KL, prices almost anywhere around the region, the capitals of Myanmar, Bangers (kok and ladesh), Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei are basically all under $100 return with most domestic flights in Malaysia under $50 return.
So, getting some sort of plan together would be a good start! 8)
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Re: South East Asia

Postby casey79 » Mon 25 May, 2009 6:40 pm

Sapa in the northen mountains of vietnam is unreal. Great mixture of culture and senery. Good food as well.

Borneo is also another option. Lots of hiking, rafting and there is Mount Kinabaluwhich towers 4095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level. Start in the jungle and finish on a huge granite cap.

Just a couple of ideas
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Re: South East Asia

Postby tas-man » Sun 31 May, 2009 7:22 pm

casey79 wrote: Lots of hiking, rafting and there is Mount Kinabaluwhich towers 4095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level. Start in the jungle and finish on a huge granite cap. Just a couple of ideas

I had never heard of Mount Kinabaluwhich, so of course Googled to see what I could find, as it is similar in height to tropical peaks, Mt. Albert Edward and Mt. Esse, that I climbed in PNG many years ago. It looks like it's a well developed tourist trail and I was interested to find this photo warning how wet and muddy it can be! If only the south Cape Range was so :lol:
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Re: South East Asia

Postby MrCAMEL » Tue 18 Aug, 2009 8:15 pm

tas-man wrote: Mount Kinabaluwhich towers 4095 meters:

Yah,
Will be venturing up Kinabaluwhich, which might be fun.
Apparently there is lots to do in and around Lao(s) too. I will be in that country for about 3 weeks.
Then, after tropical SEA, I will be heading to Mongolia, where the night temperature hovers between -15 and minus -20, down to -35 some years in that month.
I'll be buggered if I know what I'll be doing in -15 though.
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Re: South East Asia

Postby tasadam » Tue 18 Aug, 2009 8:51 pm

tas-man wrote:It looks like it's a well developed tourist trail and I was interested to find this photo warning how wet and muddy it can be! If only the south Cape Range was so :lol:

What a riot that is!
They dunno what MUD is.
Nice clean sneakers! I bet there's a fair share of leeches in that forest!
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Re: South East Asia

Postby ashlee » Wed 19 Aug, 2009 11:42 am

I'm actually heading to Thailand and Laos next November (my first o/s trip too). Haven't really researched Laos much as yet but have done a fair on Thailand. In northern thailand you can go on three day jungle treks to see "Hilltribe Villages". Though this would be cool so got it on my to-do list. But also in southern thailand there's Khao Sok National Park, only a few hours drive from Phuket. This is from a website I found:

Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand is an amazing place. It is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, huge limestone mountains shooting straight up in the air, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wild animals and much more..

Sounds great to me! And I think I've heard something about it being one of the largest jungles in Asia?

But Mongolia sounds great too! Are you going to Central Asia?
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Chris » Wed 19 Aug, 2009 7:35 pm

ashlee wrote:I'm actually heading to Thailand and Laos next November (my first o/s trip too). Haven't really researched Laos much as yet but have done a fair on Thailand. In northern thailand you can go on three day jungle treks to see "Hilltribe Villages". Though this would be cool so got it on my to-do list.


I did this quite a few years ago, and it was great. Rather hairy river journey came first, ? Chiang Rai River, but it was worth it. Hope it hasn't been ruined by too many visitors though. I remember being offered opium one night in a hill tribe village, and wondering if the local police were waiting to pounce.
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Re: South East Asia

Postby ashlee » Thu 20 Aug, 2009 12:15 pm

Chris wrote:
ashlee wrote:I'm actually heading to Thailand and Laos next November (my first o/s trip too). Haven't really researched Laos much as yet but have done a fair on Thailand. In northern thailand you can go on three day jungle treks to see "Hilltribe Villages". Though this would be cool so got it on my to-do list.


I did this quite a few years ago, and it was great. Rather hairy river journey came first, ? Chiang Rai River, but it was worth it. Hope it hasn't been ruined by too many visitors though. I remember being offered opium one night in a hill tribe village, and wondering if the local police were waiting to pounce.


I have heard that it's pretty touristy these days, but still keen to check it out! Maybe if I go from a less travelled place the experience will be more authentic? Was gonna stop off at Pai on my way back from Chiang Mai anyway so maybe I could go from there.. Or even Mae Hong Son.
I've heard about the opium as well, authorities are really strict on it apparently. Apparently lots of foreigners go on these treks specifically looking for opium and as a result a lot of innocent foreigners are arrested in towns like Mae Hong Son on suspicion.. Something to be careful about I guess...
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Phil » Mon 24 Aug, 2009 12:17 pm

Hey crew, I'll actually be spending 2 weeks in the Philippines next Feb/March.......anyone have any recommendations whilst there in terms of getting out and about?

We have a pretty flexible itinerary and I'd love to spend a few days checking out what nature has to offer :)
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Sun 04 Oct, 2009 8:32 pm

casey79 wrote: and there is Mount Kinabaluwhich towers 4095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level. Start in the jungle and finish on a huge granite cap.

Just a couple of ideas


I stumbled across this post as I was making a search on mt Kinabalu. No offense but I find it rather funny. It's misspelled as mount kinabaluwhich (which probably would have intended to be 2 seperated words) and how other posts repeated the same mistake! :D Yup as I was saying, Im from malaysia and Im embarassed at the fact that Ive climbed more mountains here in tassie than in malaysia, let alone mt kinabalu. So this holidays, Im going back to try attempt it! :D Should be a good climb!
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Nuts » Sun 04 Oct, 2009 10:53 pm

kinabaluwhich... yep that's pretty funny :lol:
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Fri 16 Oct, 2009 1:45 am

Hi all,
A friend of mine recently did mt kinabalu and it made me so jealous looking at the pics I feel like getting on the next flight back home and do it myself! Here's a little bit of the 4000m++ mt kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.
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the wicked peaks at the summit
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Sunrise at the summit
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Fri 16 Oct, 2009 1:46 am

More shots..
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Oh yea and this piece of rope is the only way to descend. A forthnight after my friend did it, someone fell to her death.
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Fri 16 Oct, 2009 1:50 am

.. and more
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Fri 16 Oct, 2009 1:51 am

..more..
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Re: South East Asia

Postby flyfisher » Fri 16 Oct, 2009 6:31 am

Thanks for the pics Julafreak, that really is a speccy peak.

Better take care when YOU go up there.

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Re: South East Asia

Postby Ent » Sat 17 Oct, 2009 3:48 pm

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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Sun 25 Oct, 2009 11:24 am

I stumbled upon a brochure by kathmandu which features their crew on trip to Borneo, Malaysia where mt kinabalu is situated and also where the first Survivor was held. Interesting stuff. I cant believe Im reading a new zealand publication about my own home country only to find that I didnt know my country that well after all! :wink: Here's the link http://www.kathmandu.com.au/Catalogue/Summer_09_Borneo_Bound
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Re: South East Asia

Postby MrCAMEL » Fri 27 Nov, 2009 8:09 pm

Over the weeks, as I have been formulating some sort of rough plan for my journeys. I read from a local poster on a forum, that the owners of the hotels on Mt Kinabaluwhich, as of next year are going to start making a 2 night/3 day stay/pay on the mountain compulsary. As they have all the 'rights', I suppose, to the mountain, they seem to be able to demand whatever they like. I have not been able to accurately verify this, but some holiday packages would seem that back this up.

So, now, it seems a with all the (acceptable) park entry fees, the compulsary guide for the well travelled and marked track, compulsary pay for 2 nights stay at the only hotel on the mountain, out of principle, I will not be climbing Mt Kinabaluwhich at all, and might go somewhere more interesting like the Maliau basin, or I might take my 12 permitted stubbies into Brunei and relax 8)

I'll be able to have a play in Mongolia now
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Re: South East Asia

Postby aphillips » Tue 01 Dec, 2009 2:02 pm

Don't know how much they're charging nowadays for climbing Mt Kinabalu as it's been about 15 years since I was there but it is a fabulous walk - quite hard over 2 days (LOTS of steep steps!) and I think too many people have suffered from the altitude and/or lack of fitness so doing it over 3 days seems reasonable to me. We had to have a guide when we did it and we "shared" one with another couple and in fact it was good to have him as he took us a bit off the track a few times to see pitcher plants etc etc.

Other interesting places we walked were Bako National Park in Sarawak (VERY hot!) and Taman Negara NP in Peninsular Malaysia which was pretty good.

Enjoy!
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Sun 06 Dec, 2009 2:08 am

Hi MrCamel,

Im in Sabah right now, the state where mt kinabalu sits. I havent seen any of the mountain yet as Im currently residing in Kota Kinabalu, the largest town in Sabah. However I have made reservations for the climb on 9th-10th of January (yep 2 days). I am going with a local friend who knows in and about the area. According to her, you would need to make a booking of at least a month to secure a spot (due to the large number of people visiting there). We've just made ours 2 days ago. The 3 days thing only takes effect if you were to make a booking NEXT YEAR onwards. So if you really want to do it, I suggest you make a booking now. Im not sure about the 6 person per guide policy but we've managed to get all 8 of us under ONE guide and the agent said it can go up to a maximum of 10.
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Sun 06 Dec, 2009 2:12 am

Oh and it only cost me RM367. Guide and transportation not included. We're pretty confident it would not go up to Rm500. When are you planning to drop by MrCamel? I have a friend who does forestry and another marine biology at the university over here. She's very good with places in Sabah.. would you like some recommendation? =D
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Sun 06 Dec, 2009 2:35 am

Im in Sabah for a week now. Although I havent travel outside of Kota Kinabalu (The largest town in this state), where there's supposedly densed untouched rainforests and world class diving spots, I was quite dissapointed. I have never flown to this part of Malaysia. If you look up a map, Malaysia is separated into the east and the west by the South China Sea. Growing up in KL (west m'sia), the capital city of the country, I'm fed up with the every day hustle and bustle of the city (imagine getting caught in a 1 hour traffic jam just to get to school every morning). When I had the chance to apply for an internship, I chose Sabah thinking that I'll be able to escape the messed up city life. Anyway, what I wanted to point out is that Kota Kinabalu is a very polluted town. Being lucky enough to have a taste of Tasmania, a small natural island very much like Sabah, I'll have to say that Im very embarassed with the situation here. I believe the photos below will speak out for themselves.

Image

The sign says "Do not Litter"
Image

This village is on an island north of the town. The island houses a large community of illegal immigrants from the phillipines. The problem is: the island is without a sewage system. It is ironic that the island is part of a national park that belongs to the state.
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Re: South East Asia

Postby stepbystep » Sun 06 Dec, 2009 7:14 am

Confronting stuff, hope you find the beautiful places that I remember from Malaysia - enjoy Mt Kinabalu!
Work hard and hurry back.
P.S. Hobart has tainted drinking water at the moment, sometimes you can't swim at Bellerive and Shag Bay where I walk my dogs looks quite a bit like some of your pics, and lets not even mention what's happening in our forests.
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Re: South East Asia

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Re: South East Asia

Postby MrCAMEL » Mon 07 Dec, 2009 5:12 pm

Julafreak wrote:Oh and it only cost me RM367. Guide and transportation not included. We're pretty confident it would not go up to Rm500. When are you planning to drop by MrCamel? I have a friend who does forestry and another marine biology at the university over here. She's very good with places in Sabah.. would you like some recommendation? =D


Ahh, that sounds interesting. Where did you book for RM367? I'm getting in to Kota Kinabalu late February and I have a flight booked to KL out of Kuching about 10 days later. But I do not know if I will go down there. I did like the idea of driving to Sandakan and or Tawau and all in between. So yes, recommendations would be much appreciated :)
I suppose it is like people who come over to Tassie and think they can see all of the island in a week. But I will do something. 8)
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Re: South East Asia

Postby Julafreak » Mon 07 Dec, 2009 10:44 pm

Brett, I've recently found out that despite all the polluted rivers and seas, the locals here places great importance in their rainforests. They would rather expand their land further towards the sea (roads and houses) than chopping down the trees. This is because the vast majority of bumiputeras (the aboriginal equivalent) see their precious forests as having spiritual powers. That's also one of the reasons why the climb up mt.kinabalu requires us to be with a guide (usually a bumiputera ranger) and no unauthorised offtrack walking is permitted (there's a belief that it would invoke the Mountain God). I thought it sounded spooky. lol. So yea the forests are very much still well preserved but I have yet to check them out due to the work load! :)

mr.Camel, I made my booking through this site http://www.suterasanctuarylodges.com.my/v2/index.html under Laban Rata which is where I'll be staying for a night before the final ascent to the highest summit called Low's peak. Im also planning to do some side mountain climbing http://www.mountaintorq.com/ It's supposed to be the world's highest via ferrata run by a singaporean company. However my package of rm 367 only includes accomodation, food (5 meals in total), permit, insurance. There is also transportation and tour guide fees yet to be included. but it shouldnt come up to more than rm500.

I supposed you've already checked out the geaography of it through the net. It's a big place really. depending on whether you're into watersports or jungle treks. Assuming you're a keen bushwalker, yes my friend did say that maliau basin would be a good choice. Also take a boat cruise on the Kinabatangan River for the best sigthings of the Proboscis monkeys. According to her lecturer, the trees on the river bank extends so that you'll get upclose and personal with these creatures :D . The canopy walks at Ranau isnt as good as the ones in Danum Valley. Gua Gomantong has lots of sparrows and its fair share of scats on the cave's floor, you'll see the locals gathering their at great heights nest (expensive stuff in the chinese medicinal market). Then there's Sepilok which is know for their orang utan conservation park where you'll get to meet the 'Orang Utans' (literally means Jungle Man). The 'Tip pf Borneo' all the way up north is also a good place to stop by. Tenom in the southwest is famous for their coffee but you'll get it in major towns and souvenir shops. If you like a little history and culture, then the monsopiad cultural village is a good place, there are 64 hanging skulls dated back 300 years ago (something to do with this monsopiad guy from the kadazanduzun tribe who's a famous headhunter back then). White water rafting is also famous here at the Padas River. Pulau Gaya (an island just off the shores of kota kinabalu) is a no go for me because of the high numbers if illegal immigrants settlers from the phillipines (part of the island is very much polluted, bad sanitation and even the local police doesnt encourage visiting the island). However you can visit the other nearby islands (comparatively cheaper than Pulau Sipadan or Pulau Tiga) such as Pulau Manukan also off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.

Last advice, my country is know for tourist traps.. even though Sabah is relatively better in compared to cities like KL (we locals know better not to buy things in Chinatown, Petaling Street in KL, we often see tourist get conned) but you should never be too careful. In restaurants and taxis alike, always ask for a price. Taxi drivers in Sabah are infamously notorious (they dont go by the meter). Even I got conned! Its day light robbery! Oh and also, very unlike peaceful tassie, the crime rate here is high. So you'll have to be careful in quiet areas especially on the streets at night. Good luck with the planning. Feel free to drop me questions, I'll be more than happy to help. :wink:
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